Mood Disorders


Mood disorders can cause long periods of sadness, anger and stress that overwhelm your life. But you don’t have to face these symptoms alone. At Mercy, we’re here to help you feel physically and emotionally healthy. Our behavioral health specialists can evaluate your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan based on what you need.

What is a Mood Disorder? 

A mood disorder is a mental health condition that mainly affects your emotional state. People with mood disorders often experience long periods of extreme emotional highs and lows. There are a few different types of mood disorders, but two of the most common types are depression and bipolar disorder.

If you or a loved one is feeling depressed and experiencing thoughts of suicide, call 911 or go nearest Emergency Room for immediate help.

Types of Mood Disorders


While feeling down is very common, depression severely impacts how you feel, think and act. It causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things that once brought joy. People who are depressed often experience a variety of emotional and physical problems or difficulty doing everyday tasks. 

Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Disorder)

Though less common than depression, bipolar disorder is another mood disorder we frequently address. Bipolar disorder involves intense mood swings from extreme lows (depression) and highs (mania). These mood swings impact daily life and can strongly influence how you act.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

While premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is fairly common among menstruating women, PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It can cause both physical and behavioral symptoms which make daily life difficult the week before menstruation, but PMDD symptoms typically get better with the onset of menstruation.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)

Individuals with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) experience sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse or throwing and breaking things can be signs of this disorder.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

The use of drugs and alcohol can cause mood disorders as well. Depression and bipolar are some of the most common mood disorders associated with substance use, because substances can change how you feel, think and act. 

Causes of Mood Disorders

No single cause is known, and there may be several factors that contribute to mood disorders. These disorders are most likely caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, which can be related to physical illness or the use of certain medications. Difficult life events and trauma may also contribute to mood disorders. 

Risk Factors

There are also some genetic risk factors – for instance, women are more likely than men to develop a mood disorder. The chance of developing a mood disorder is also higher if you have a family history of mental health conditions.

Mood Disorder Symptoms

Depending on several factors, like your age and the type of mood disorder you have, you may have a wide range of possible symptoms. Common signs of mood disorders include:

  • Constant feelings of sadness or anxiousness
  • Overwhelming sense of hopelessness
  • Low self-worth or feeling inadequate
  • Relationship problems
  • Loss of interest in activities that once brought pleasure
  • Excessive guilt
  • Sleep issues
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Decreased energy
  • Lack of concentration or difficulty making decisions
  • Frequent physical discomfort from headaches and/or stomachaches
  • Irritability, hostility or aggression
  • Suicide ideation 

The symptoms of mood disorders overlap with many other mental health conditions, so it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis. Your Mercy primary care provider can help assess your symptoms and direct you to specialized care. We want to make sure you get the best treatment for your needs.

Diagnosis & Treatment for Mood Disorders

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of a mood disorder, it can be overwhelming. Mercy’s behavioral health experts are here to help with personalized treatment.

Learn about mood disorder diagnosis and treatment options here.

Mood Disorders in Children

Recognizing the symptoms of a mood disorder in a child can be difficult. Symptoms of childhood mood disorders can differ in intensity and duration from adults. Your Mercy pediatrician or primary care provider can help evaluate symptoms and connect you with specialized care.

Learn more.  

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